ARSENAL are reporedly set to battle Real Madrid for Porto ace Hector Herrera, who is wanted to replace Aaron Ramsey.
Unai Emery is already on the lookout for ways to improve his squad despite a hefty summer.
In recent years, Arsenal have been known to be ultra-conservative with their money but, with a new manager, they decided to loosen the purse strings somewhat this year.
Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Matteo Guendouzi and Sokratis all arrived for a total of around £75m.
But with the news that there could be a high-profile departure in the offing, a replacement is needed.
Wales international Ramsey's contract expires at the end of the year, meaning he will be free to leave for nothing.
A similar situation happened with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, with the former staying and latter leaving.
AC Milan are understood to be in the driving seat for the former Cardiff midfielder's services, and they can start negotiations in January.
But the Gunners are not sitting back and letting the situation unfold after actively pursuing his replacement as soon as possible.
Arsenal news: Hector Herrera is wanted by Unai Emery
Arsenal news: Aaron Ramsey scored for Wales over the international break
Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui is also snooping around
According to The Mirror, Emery is keen to try and secure a deal for Porto centre-mid Herrera, who will also see his contract expire next summer.
That could either be for a cut-price fee in January with his contract nearing its conclusion or a Bosman deal could be agreed in the winter to sign Herrera on a free next summer.
But there are not the only ones circling the Mexico international.
Real Madrid are also waiting in the wings to make the 28-year-old an offer, and him and Julen Lopetegui have history.
AS report that the pair met during the international break and the ex-Spain coach managed Herrera during his time at Porto, where they reportedly grew close.
Adding Herrera to his ranks at the Bernabeu will improve his situation in the dressing-room, an important element of staying as Real manager.
The Gunners face Newcastle this weekend as Emery continues to bounce back from his early-season wobble against Manchester City and Chelsea.